Oliver Twist: Chapter 46 - Summary & Analysis

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The Appointment Kept


Mr. Brownlow and Miss Rose Went to Meet Nancy

      It was three quarters past eleven as two figures were moving on London Bridge. One was a man and another figure was of a woman. They were walking at some distance. The man was walking with a precaution not to be watched by the lady. The girl was Nancy and the man who was secretly following her was Mr. Bolter. He was pursuing her as instructions were given to him by Fagin. After sometimes a young lady named Rose got down from her carriage accompanied by a grey-haired old gentleman. These people began to walk towards London Bridge. They had come to meet Nancy who promised them to be available on London Bridge every Sunday between the hours of eleven and twelve o'clock at night. As we know on the previous Sunday she could not reach there and now felt much more relaxed to see Rose. She was not very much sure that Rose would come there because she herself was not available there on last Sunday.

Nancy, is not ready to Betray Fagin and Sikes

      Now Mr. Brownlow asked Nancy why had not she come on the previous Sunday. Nancy said that she was about to come but someone had prevented him. Then after Mr. Brownlow asked Nancy to give him some informations and evidence against the men whom she was associated with. He assured her of her safety. Nancy said that she would not give any particular against Fagin or Sikes but she did not care for Monks though she could not give anything against him also. She explained that if she would gave evidence against Monks, then Monks would start deceiving Fagin and Sikes. Moreover, she herself was a thief working under the instructions of Fagin and Sikes, therefore she would not ditch them.

Nancy, Prepared to Go against Monks

      Mr. Brownlow assured Nancy that Monks would never come to know who had gone against him and she would never fall under suspicion in this matter. Now, Nancy was only worried for Sikes that no harm should be done to him because she cared for him a lot. This was also the fact that Nancy had first met Rose Maylie when she heard that Oliver would be in danger because of Monks. Now, Nancy did not have any objection to going against Monks. Thus she told Mr. Brownlow all the detailed particulars about Monk's physical outfit and features. She said that Monks was a tall man who constantly looked over his shoulders as he walked. He had deep eyes and he had the habit of putting on a neckerchief in order to cover a red mark on his neck. Mr. Brownlow, after hearing this detail, said that he knew this man and would face no problem in catching hold of him.

Mr. Brownlow Offered Help but Nancy Rejected

      Mr. Brownlow thanked Nancy a lot for giving valuable information. He said that he would help her in getting away from the criminals with whom she was working. Nancy replied that it was not possible for her to get away though she hated this criminal life. Mr. Bronwlow even told her to make arrangements for her establishment in England and leave London but she said that she was tied to this criminal life and could not abandon it. She also said that now a days she was often haunted by a sense of dread and fear. Nancy wept a lot while talking to Mr. Brownlow and Rose Maylie. Mr. Brownlow offered her money but she denied to accept anything for such a little service that she had rendered to them. She asked Rose to give her something to keep her remembrances. Rose gave her handkerchief as a token of love and respect. Nancy blessed Rose and bade good night to them.

Mr. Bolter overheard the whole Conversation

      Mr. Bolter had, overheard all the conversation held between Nancy, Brownlow and Rose. Now, he turned to report everything to his master Fagin

Critical Analysis

      Nancy's character is made idealized and sentimental in this chapter. Nancy has resolved to defend Oliver from the cruel hands of Fagin and Sikes but it is also a fact that she is seriously in love with Sikes.

      Nancy's refusal to accept money from Rose but her request to give her a handkerchief as a token of love and reminder of Rose reveals an impure sentimentality.

      It seems that Mr. Brownlow already knows Monks because he interrupted Nancy and told about a burn which Monks tries to cover through a neckerchief.

      It is the very element of melodrama—that a secret meeting on London Bridge is held between Nancy and Mr. Brownlow and Nancy, Besides fantasies of death, misty nights, premonition of evil, shrouds smeared in blood, coffins etc. are the features of melodrama.

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